Welcome to the Limestone County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
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Limestone County was created by an act of the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on February 6, 1818. The county was created from former Chickasaw and Cherokee Indian lands ceded to the United States in 1816. Limestone County was named for the creek that flows through the county and whose bed is made of hard limestone.
The earliest settlers came to the county from Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Some of the earliest settlements and towns included Athens, Belle Mina, and Mooresville. Limestone County was host to a number of conflicts during the Civil War, one of the most well-known being Colonel John Basil Turchin's siege and occupation of the city of Athens. The city was destroyed and Turchin was eventually tried for his conduct toward the citizens of Athens. He was acquitted and promoted to brigadier general by President Lincoln.
Athens was chosen as the county seat in 1819. A number of courthouses have been built and used in the county since its inception. The first courthouse, a wooden structure, was built in 1820 and occupied until 1825, when the courthouse was replaced by a second wooden courthouse. This courthouse was in use until 1835, when a third courthouse was built, which in turn was in use until 1863, when it was destroyed in the Civil War. After the Civil War, a fourth courthouse made of brick was built and used until 1916. In 1919, the fifth and present-day courthouse was built. It has undergone minor renovations and updates since 1919.
The earliest settlers of Limestone County found the level, fertile land good for farming a variety of crops, and agriculture was the prevailing industry of the county until well into the twentieth century. Early farmers raised corn, wheat, and oats as well as cattle and hogs. By 1820, cotton had become the major cash crop, and cotton plantations sprang up throughout the county.
Textile mills and other cotton-related industries soon followed. Industrialization was given a significant boost in the late nineteenth century with the completion of a series of locks and dams along the Tennessee River, which provided communities with an abundance of water power. During the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority constructed a series of dams on the Tennessee and other rivers, bringing hydroelectric power to the county's citizens and industries. Today, as part of the Huntsville-Decatur Metropolitan Area, the principal industries in Limestone County center on the space and technology industries.
The county has a total area of 607 square miles, of which 560 square miles is land and 47 square mile (7.8%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 9,871. The 2010 census recorded 82,782 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Giles County, Tennessee (north), Lincoln County, Tennessee (northeast), Madison County (east), Morgan County (southeast), Lawrence County (southwest), and Lauderdale County (west).
Communities in the county include Athens, Decatur (mostly in Morgan County), Huntsville (mostly in Madison County), Madison (mostly in Madison County), Ardmore, Elkmont, Lester, Mooresville, Belle Mina, Capshaw, Coxey, Good Springs, Greenbrier, Holland Gin, Oakland (near Athens), Oakland (near Madison), Scarce Grease, Tanner, and Veto.
Alabama Genealogy & History Network has much information on our county websites - cemetery listings, community data, etc. Please visit the county or counties of interest to you.
Birth Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains records of births from 1908 to present. This was the year Alabama began keeping official birth records. You can obtain official copies of birth certificates by visiting the birth record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official birth records before 1908 for births prior to that date you will need to determine birth information from census records, bible records, baptismal records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Death Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains death records after 1908 on file. This was the year Alabama began keeping official death records. You can obtain official copies of death certificates by visiting the death record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official death records before 1908 for deaths prior to that date you will need to determine death information from census records, bible records, funeral home records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Marriage Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health can provide you with information for marriages that took place from 1936 to present by by visiting the marriage record page on their website and following the instructions.
All existing county marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the county's Probate Office in which the marriage was held.
Divorce Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains divorce records from 1950 to present. You can obtain official copies of devorce records by visiting the divorce record page on their website and following the instructions. Records for divorces occuring before 1950 may be obtained from the Circuit Clerk in the county where the divorce took place.
Limestone County is located in east-central Alabama.
A list of Limestone County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Limestone County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
A list of Limestone County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.